Archive for November, 2009

Naive Big Shots

Ten years ago, the music industry was a living, breathing thing. Its components, including artists, record companies, radio stations, and fans, all used to have their specific functions. The artist would search for a record company to sign them, and in turn, the record companies would record them, put them on tour and get their song on the radio, essentially creating their fan base. This fan base is and always will be the main goal with regards to popular music. However, with the vast array of tools that have been laid in front of these prospective fans within the last ten years, the search for music has become much easier. The masses aren’t relying on the radio stations or the record companies to tell them what to listen to. Sure, it can be said that blogs have assumed this responsibility, and in many ways they have, but that doesn’t limit the ease at which music can be acquired, in fact it makes it easier.

So, how does this tie into to Economics? One of the main determinants of supply is technology, and this broad term can be defined as how a producer reacts to innovation within the technological world, and how it can ultimately increase or decrease the supply of a good, as well as the consumer’s demand for that good. Basically with the advent of the internet and the ability to universally share whatever you wish, the record companies (the big shots) have fallen behind. Their well-documented stubbornness toward the first large scale file sharing program, Napster, is a great example of their proven futility. They shunned this movement, and failed to recognize that the diamond within this rough haze of music piracy was the woefully attractive prospect of PR, or the idealistic prospect of global radio. Sure, the entire function that Napster operated on was highly illegal, and there was barely any precedent to gauge any type of appropriate response on the matter. But, these excuses can’t account for the brilliant opportunity that was lost there at the dawn of the file sharing age. If the big shots would have embraced this change, if they could have ‘institutionalized’, in a sense, the concept of file sharing as a means of free publicity, this predicament, this titanic of an industry could have been easily avoided.

However, nothing is fucked here dude. There is plenty of opportunity booming within our generation, the ‘Cyber’ generation. There are innovations being made each day that embrace the convergence of the arts and recognize that technology is probably, at least right now, the most important determinant of supply. And, in order to take full advantage of this determinant, the producer has to harness the ability to accept change, and understand the wave of innovation that is constantly splashing on our shores.


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